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A Complete Comparison of VMware vs VirtualBox

Updated Jan 08, 2020

The significance of desktop virtualization is undisputed in today’s modern IT environment. It provides the ability to operate concurrent operating systems of the likes of VMs, directly from a single device.

Here, we aim to enlighten our readers about the features of VirtualBox vs vmware, the definition of Virtualbox, the definition of vmware, differences between vmware player vs Virtualbox, etc. While going through the difference between VMware vs VirtualBox, you will get a fair idea about how to create and provide for virtual machines (VMs) on your desktop devices that run on x86-based platforms.

VMware vs Virtualbox

Virtual Box, VMware and other desktop virtualization platforms help in evaluating new systems and apps in a partitioned and safe environment. Oracle and VMware, pioneers in data virtualization solutions, allow for the deployment and testing of software on different operating systems without the need for multiple devices. Oracle offers VirtualBox in the capacity of a hypervisor for operating virtual machines (VMs). VMware offers various products with a view of operating VMs in a variety of use cases. Both these platforms are reliable, fast and inclusive of a plethora of exciting features.

We begin with a helpful comparison chart to depict the salient points of difference between Virtualbox and vmware.

Basis of Differentiation Virtualbox VMware
Overview VirtualBox is attributed to Oracle and is its tool for host-based virtualization. It competes with VMware’s Workstation. VMware refers to an ecosystem of tools and applications that are linked together.
Functionality The extension pack of VirtualBox provides Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), USB functionality, Preboot Execution Environment (PXE), etc. It can be availed under a proprietary license. This version is free for personal /educational use. VMware is used for setting up a private cloud. It is also useful for managing mobile devices in corporate networks. Users can protect endpoints as well as virtualize stuff with the help of Vmware.
Platforms and versions The free and open-source VirtualBox works on most x86 platforms like Windows, Solaris, Mac, Linux, etc. Version (5.1.6) is a recently released version of VirtualBox. All versions of VirtualBox are not free. VMware Workstation is the desktop virtualization tool for Linux and Windows. For Mac, VMware Fusion is the desktop virtualization tool. 
Usage Free/ Not free Deployment of VirtualBox for commercial usage on multiple devices requires a license that has to be purchased from Oracle. VMware Workstation does not come free of cost. Only VMware Player is free (it is incapable of running multiple VMs simultaneously). Users with a network and spare computer/ server can enjoy ESXi Free.
Main Usage Virtualbox from Oracle offers useful Virtualization functionality. Typically used with development toolchains of the likes of “Vagrant”, it is a reliable development tool. VMware develops Cloud Management Platforms along with Virtualization software.
Ease of Accessibility Virtualbox is not as easy to access as Vmware. Vmware provides more ease of access than VirtualBox.

What is VMware?

VMware is a cloud computing and virtualization software, provider. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware was established in 1998. It is a subsidiary of Dell Technologies and was acquired in 2016. The virtualization technologies of VMware are based on the bare-metal hypervisor in x86 architecture (ESX/ESXi).

A hypervisor is placed on the physical server with the help of VMware server virtualization. This paves the path for multiple virtual machines (VMs) to operate on any given physical server. Each VM is capable of running on its operating system (OS). This effectively means that more than one operating system is capable of running on a single physical server. The resources are shared by all VMs present on any given physical server – for instance, RAM and networking.

  • The VMware products comprise of virtualization, software-centric data centre software, storage software, security management tools, networking management tools, etc.
  • VMware vSphere is the package for virtualization products attributed to VMware. It encompasses vCenter Server, vMotion, ESXi, vSphere Client, etc. vSphere 6.5, a recent version of VMware vSphere comprises of three editions - Standard, Enterprise Plus and Enterprise.
  • VMware’s vRealize Network Insight allows admins to plan out micro-segmentation and take care of the proper functioning of VMware NSX.

What is VirtualBox?

A VirtualBox refers to a software virtualization package that is capable of installing on virtual operating systems in the form of applications. VirtualBox permits the installation of more than one operating system, in the way of Guest OS, to run in any given virtual environment. Innotek GmbH developed VirtualBox in the form of an open-source software suite. Released in 2007, VirtualBox is now developed by Oracle Corporation as a software package.

  • VirtualBox served to be an essential virtualization software application in the year 2010. The operating systems supported by VirtualBox encompass Windows XP, macOS X, Windows Vista, Windows 7, OpenSolaris, Linux, Solaris, etc.
  • VirtualBox works as an x86 and AMD64/Intel64 data virtualization product. It is useful for enterprise and home use alike.
  • VirtualBox is a feature-rich, robust, high-performance product that is oft-purchased by enterprise customers.
  • The professional solution is freely available in the form of an Open Source Software.
  • VirtualBox is compatible with Linux, Macintosh, Windows, Solaris, etc. It hosts as well as supports multiple guest operating systems. These OSs include Windows (NT 4.0, Vista, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Windows 8, Windows 7, etc.). VirtualBox also supports DOS, Windows 3.x, Solaris, OpenSolaris, Linux (2.4, 2.6 and 3.x), OS/2 and OpenBSD.


Both VMware and VirtualBox are known to offer high-performance levels and optimum reliability. It is essential to understand the infrastructural capabilities in place before deciding on the more suitable product between the two. In case you want to take a closer look at these virtualization tools, or if you have any further queries about the difference between Virtualbox and vmware, then do write to us. We can also assist you with regards to which virtualization tool to apply - virtualbox or vmware. Please send us your concerns in the Comments section below, and we will get back to you at the earliest!